Peru: Flight Attendant Becomes Internet Celebrity

Due to some very special welcoming words that were captured on video, the chief flight attendant on the December 20, 2009, TACA flight, César Soto has become the newest YouTube sensation in Peru. Minutes after landing at Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Soto said the following words to the passengers on the flight originating from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic:

Damas y caballeros, quiero darles la bienvenida a Lima: capital gastronómica del mundo, tierra del cebiche, del pisco y del pisco sour, así como también del lomo saltado, la causa limeña, la chicha morada, el pollo a la brasa, los anticuchos, el suspiro, etc.

La ciudad cuenta con bares típicos y sabrosos restaurantes. Si se queda en nuestra ciudad, no olvide visitar el centro histórico, su famosa catedral. Si quiere ir de compras vaya a Miraflores y si está corto de dinero, pude ir a Gamarra o a los Polvos Azules.

Vaya y diviértase en LarcoMar y deléitese la vista con nuestro extenso circuito de playas. Si aun así se queda corto y quiere algo romántico, vaya a Barranco a caminar por el puente de los suspiros.

Quiero recordarles que no dejen sus objetos personales en el avión, tales como laptops, iPods, libros, sombreros, bastones, gorras, etc.

No nos haremos responsables por objetos dejados dentro del avión. Más aun, los estaremos sorteando en nuestro próximo vuelo entre los pasajeros que tengan la dicha de viajar con nosotros.

Quiero recordarles al pasar sus controles de migración y aduanas sonreír y pensar bonito. Cuando piensa bonito todo sucede bonito.

Tome su paso por Aduana como si hubiera hecho un deporte extremo.

Usted queda totalmente a merced del Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Chávez de la ciudad de Lima.

Finalmente me gustaría recordarles que la vida es muy corta: perdone rápido, bese lento y ame intensamente, y nunca deje de sonreír por más extraño que le parezca el motivo.

La vida tal vez no sea la fiesta que esperábamos pero mientras estemos acá solo nos queda bailar.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Lima: world's gastronomical capital, land of the ceviche, pisco and pisco sour, as well as the lomo saltado, causa limeña, chicha morada, barbecued chicken, anticuchos, suspiro, etc.

The city has typical bars and delicious restaurants. If you will be staying in our city, don't forget to visit historic downtown, its famous cathedral. If you want to go shopping, go to Miraflores and if you are kind of broke, you can go to Gamarra or to Polvos Azules.

Go and have fun in LarcoMar and enjoy yourself on our long beach circuit. If you still are kind of broke and looking for something romantic, go to Barranco and take a walk at the Puente de los Suspiros.

I want to remind you not to leave personal objects in the plane, such as laptops, iPods, books, hats, canes, caps, etc. We won't be held responsible for objects left on the plane. Furthermore, they will be raffled off on our next flight among the passengers who have the joy of flying with us.

I want tot remind you while going through Immigration and Customs controls to smile and think nice. When you think nice thoughts everything happens nice. Take your passage through Customs as some type of extreme sport.

You all are at the mercy of Jorge Chávez International Lima Airport.

Finally, I'd like to remind you that life is too short: forgive fast, kiss slowly, and love intensely, and never stop smiling no matter how weird you think it is.

Life may not be the party we expected, but as long as we are around, we can only dance.

The video was filmed by YouTube user Mellowyn, who uploaded the video to her account. The video, which has been viewed more than 110,000 times, has made more than the passengers smile. The 36-year-old flight attendant originally from the Jesús María District in Lima, Peru has over 8,000 flying hours [es] under his belt, and also thanks to the video has his own Facebook group with more than 6,400 members.

Soto's welcoming message has been promoted by bloggers, such as from Fernando Zambrano, who reviews on his blog Ferblogtv [es], the best parts from the message and writes that Soto has gone from Chief Flight Attendant to Internet celebrity [es].

Memorex, who blogs on El Aprendiz RRPP [es], shares his opinion from the perspective of a public relations apprentice:

Es tan sencillo que cuesta creerlo. Taca no tuvo que invertir un centavo en costosos, magnos y pomposos recibimientos; simplemente bastó el ingenio y buen humor del piloto para lograr que su público tenga una buena imagen de la empresa; y muy probablemente vuelva a viajar con ellos.

It's so simple that it is hard to believe. Taca didn't have to invest a single penny in expensive, great, or ostentatious welcomings; it took just inventiveness and the good mood of the pilot so that the public would have a good impression of the company; and most likely they will travel again with them.

Rafael Grández emphasizes [es] the impact Soto's words are having in Taca as a business:

Ahora César Soto está endosando su popularidad y celebridad a TACA. Nótese el impacto positivo que tiene un colaborador motivado y comprometido con su trabajo, con el brindar un mejor servicio. Acordémonos que los primeros en hablar bien o mal de una institución, los directamente llamados a mejorar su imagen, o por el contrario a dinamitarla, son los propios trabajadores.

Now, César Soto is endorsing his popularity and celebrity in the interests of TACA. You can note the positive impact that a motivated and committed employee can have for providing a better service. Let's remember, the first ones who can speak in a good or in a bad way about a company are those who are directly advocated to enhance its image or, quite the contrary, to lessen it, are the workers themselves.

However there are some skeptical individuals who believe that the video may actually be a viral video conceived by the airline. For example, Milton Vela of the blog Café Taipá [es] lists six reasons why he thinks this is a viral video from Taca, including the fact that the crew allowed a camera record when electronic devices should be turned off:

sólo quiero resaltar por qué este video se ha hecho un viral, que para nada busca establecer reglas generales, ya que si se tuviera la fórmula de hacer popular a un video en Youtube, realmente andaríamos pegados a este canal, y ya no tendría sentido tanta sorpresa.

I just want to point out why this video has become a viral, which is not intended to establish general rules, if they had the formula to make a video popular on YouTube, we would really be glued to this channel, and all this surprise would be meaningless.

Álvaro Alonso Zapatel of the blog El Gato del Hortelano [es] summarizes his opinion whether or not it is indeed a viral video on a final note to his post:

No faltan algunos que piensan que esto es un “viral” sembrado por TACA, pero no me interesa, la gente no lo sabía y eso me parece recontra buena onda.

There are some who think that this is a “viral” (video) uploaded by TACA, but I don't care, people didn't know it, and I think the video is completely cool.

Viral or not, the truth is César Soto has become an internet celebrity thanks to it.


  • Thank you so much for this post Gabriela! It made my day better too! It is such a simple message: if we are kind towards people, we make the world a kinder place. And it all starts with ourselves!


  • Deborah Dilley

    I read alot of posts, and this one has been by far my favorite in a long time. Keep up the good work Gabriela!

  • […] dass César Soto eine Internet-Berühmtheit geworden ist. Dieser Beitrag erschien zuerst auf Global Voices. Die Übersetzung erfolgte durch Hans H. Knauf, Teil des “Project Lingua“. Die […]

  • anngell

    I have travelled a long miles and most often, we can only see the crews’ instructions and hear their voice shortly. I have experienced different attitude of crews – hospitable, not too caring and unsmiling.
    Of course, we also want to hear about the latest in the next destination. Was Cesar Soto assigned to do it?
    Whatever, it’s a ‘come on’ airline policies – to give advice and ‘thought for the day’.

  • So often I’ve seen unfriendly flight attendant. It’s always a pleasure to see nice and kind people. This should serve as a great example how to do our jobs with passions and also show passion for our homeland.

  • Thank you so much for this post Gabriela! It made my day better too! It is such a simple message: if we are kind towards people, we make the world a kinder place. And it all starts with ourselves!

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